Test Soil for Nutrient Content

Success Story -
At the Summer Grade 4-5 Math and Science Academy based at Pinewood Elementary School in Mounds View, 50 girls focused on water quality for two weeks. The girls heard speakers from the Rice Creek Watershed District and from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, conducted field reconnaissance on causes of nonpoint source pollution, and stencilled storm drains. Students tested soil and water, then reported to neighbors that excess phosphorus in fertilizer degrades water quality.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Identify sub-watershed and study area.
  2. Order soil sample collection kits from Extension Service.
  3. Collect and submit samples to Extension Service lab.
  4. Analyze and report results to the public.

The Pollution Prevention Project Guide has a two-page "to-do" list with several items under each of the four headings above. Read detailed "Soil Testing" instructions on line or download as PDF File.

Order Soil Sampling Bags and Instructions - The University of Minnesota Soil Testing Laboratory will test soil samples and send you a report on nutrient levels and fertilizer recommendations. (Recommendations based on typical Minnesota soils.) $10 per sample. Order a couple of weeks before you need kits. Allow a couple of weeks for the report on your samples.

Background Fact Sheet for Students - Click to read on-line and/or download "Phosphorus and the Green Scum," a one-page fact sheet for students explaining the science behind nutrient pollution.

For Teachers:

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